‘College Money Madness’ set on May 24 in Sarasota to offer help for students seeking college aid

Event to be held at Booker High School from 2:30 to 7 p.m.

Booker High School is located on Orange Avenue in Sarasota Image courtesy Sarasota County Schools
Booker High School is located on Orange Avenue in Sarasota. Image courtesy Sarasota County Schools

Local high school students and their parents are invited to gain assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at College Money Madness, a free workshop from 2:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24, in the media center at Booker High School, the Sarasota County School District has announced.

The event will be a joint venture between the school district and the Talent4Tomorrow Partnership, “a local education workforce initiative with a goal of offering college and career pathways for local students,” a news release says. The district and Talent4Tomorrow have already hosted two similar events this year at North Port and Sarasota High schools, the release notes.

“Completing the FAFSA application allows students to qualify for federal funds to attend college,” the release adds, and it may qualify them to receive funding from other sources. “Students who complete the form can earn grants, loans and work-study jobs that can help pay for post-secondary education,” the release continues.

Booker High Principal Rachel Shelley said in the release that she thinks more students would apply for assistance if they had support. “Many people think FAFSA is an income-based funding provider,” Shelley pointed out in the release. “But it’s actually needs-based, which means that all families facing a gap between what they’re able to afford and the actual cost of college may benefit from applying, regardless of their family income.”

College financial aid representatives and trained FAFSA volunteers will be on hand at the May 24 event, the release notes. Computers and internet access also will be provided, so applicants can complete the FAFSA submission process at the event.

Additionally, the event will feature food; childcare for families with small children; and door prizes, including Walmart gift cards and a Chromebook, the release continues.

Families should bring financial documents from 2015 for both parents and students, or 2014 financial documents if that was the last year they filed taxes, the release points out. Families also should bring W-2s and Federal Income Tax Returns, as well as their Social Security and drivers’ license numbers. Further, College Money Madness coordinators are encouraging each family planning to participate to create a Federal Student Aid ID prior to the event by visiting https://fsaid.ed.gov.

“Federal Student Aid is the largest student aid provider in the U.S., distributing more than $150 billion annually to support the goals of millions of students,” the release explains.

More information about College Money Madness is available by contacting Booker High college and career advisor Lem Andrews at 355-2967, Ext. 65020.

Booker High School is located at 3201 N. Orange Ave. in Sarasota.